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Can anyone recommend a GUI based program to control the execution of bash scripts according to time/interval? I'm already familiar with both cron and at and looking for recommended alternatives. A command line program might be fine as well, I'm primarily looking for ease of use and flexibility when it comes to altering the time/interval for the execution of jobs. Ideally this would run on both Linux and Mac OS. Thanks.

Edit: Just to make things clear, this is not for me but for a course I'm teaching within a Humanities/Arts department. Sometimes the command line is scary to a novice. My approach has been to demonstrate certain problem solving using the (in this case) OSX interface, or a utility with a GUI and then dropping down to the command line to do the same thing. I do this to "soften" the move from the GUI to the terminal. Additionally, this approach seems to help students see that the answer to a specific problem/technique can then be abstracted to a more general set of problems/techniques.

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    "Ease of use and flexibility" sound surjective. Could you please remind me of why cron is not easy to use/not flexible?
    – 4ae1e1
    Feb 16 '15 at 8:33
  • @ksh you don't really mean "remind me" do you? I think you're saying that you don't believe that using cron could be inflexible or easy for someone. Saying "remind me," rather than asking in what cases these utilities might be difficult to use makes you sound a bit like a sarcastic 12 year old.
    – moorej
    Feb 16 '15 at 17:04
  • Well no, put it in context. You (or whomever you are trying to teach) are using it with shell scripts. If one can use and write shell scripts, what's so "scary to a novice" about cron? You just specify five numbers for each job. That's all.
    – 4ae1e1
    Feb 16 '15 at 17:39
  • By the way, I was not trying to be sarcastic. As I mentioned, "ease of use and flexibility" are rather surjective, so we need more information about what kind of "ease of use" you have in mind.
    – 4ae1e1
    Feb 16 '15 at 17:48
  • Now that I know what you are trying to teach, hey, isn't this a perfect example of why you should use the command line for productivity? If you provide a GUI program, folks (in Humanities/Arts) will choose to be lazy and use GUI only. However, most of the time, a GUI program can't match the power and flexibility of CLI, especially in the case of cron and launchd. I guess even if there is such a program, it would just be a wrapper around launchd (and honestly I haven't heard of any scheduler for shell scripts — application schedulers might or might not work for scripts, not sure).
    – 4ae1e1
    Feb 16 '15 at 17:54
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I haven't used it personally, but Cronnix may be the tool that you're looking for.

Alternately, considering that your goal is 'to "soften" the move from the GUI to the terminal', you could use:

http://www.corntab.com/pages/crontab-gui

to both help teach the basics of cron and to ease the transition to the CLI. It uses a graphical web interface to build a line which a user could then be cut and paste into the crontab file.

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  • Glad I could help.
    – DrDR
    Feb 16 '15 at 19:31

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